Following on the success of Dyson's Supersonic hair dryer, the company's new Airwrap hair styler has also been grabbing the attention of women around the world. With hair styling an endless pursuit for women, the Airwrap fits right into our needs.
As a user of the Supersonic, I would say the two products are rather different. The Supersonic is a daily-use hair dryer. The slightly more expensive Airwrap is meant for styling, providing an easy way to straighten or curl your hair every morning before you leave home and minimising your time at the saloon. The Airwrap can be used as a dryer too, though it probably can't replace the Supersonic as its airflow is not as strong. However, the Airwrap has a one-hand dry-and-style feature that makes it unique.
The conventional way of using a hairdryer is to hold the dryer with one hand and the comb with the other, brushing your hair the way you want to style it. The Airwrap comes with two brush attachments - the firm smoothing and round volumising brushes - that let you dry and style hair with the same action, using just one hand. The brushes cater to most hair types and let you create either a straighter style with less frizz or hair with more volume and shape.
Price: $649 (Dyson Airwrap Volume + Shape/ Dyson Airwrap Smooth + Control) and $699 ( Dyson Airwrap Complete)
Weight: 660g (without attachment)
Value for money: 4/5
As a curler, it comes with a 40mm Airwrap barrel to create loose curls or waves for thicker hair, and a 30mm Airwrap barrel that creates voluminous curls or waves for most hair types. But where the Airwrap stands apart from other hair curlers is its ability to style hair using what is known as the Coanda effect. Here's how it works: A stream of high-velocity air disperses from six air slots around the barrel, causing hair to wrap around the barrel surface, resulting in the curling effect. It looks amazing in action, but as it works differently from conventional curlers, first timers may find it tricky if they did not go through the video tutorial on Dyson's YouTube channel.
The first time I used the volumising brush, it took me 20 minutes to get a dry and straightened chest level hair. As I usually air dry my hair, my friends noticed the difference - and less frizzy look - right away. For curling, it took me a few tries as it requires some hand-eye coordination, which is not my forte. Using the curler is not as straightforward as using the brush. First, you have to figure out which direction the barrel will curl your hair by looking at the mirror. Next, hold a pinch of hair - think a five-cent-coin-circumference worth of hair - at mid-length and position the barrel near the bottom of the strands. Activate the heating Coanda effect and move the Airwrap upwards as your hair wraps around the barrel (this should be done in around seven seconds). Lastly, activate the cool air function for around three seconds to set the curls.
It took me 30 minutes to curl my hair on my first try. This came down to 20 minutes after a few days of practice. The curls lasted five to six hours before they started to lose their shape.
VERDICT: While $699 for a complete set of the Dyson Airwrap is steep, since a standard curler and straightener usually costs around $150 at most, it can protect your hair from the extreme heat damage that might be caused by typical curlers and straighteners and save you from having to pay for more hair treatment as a result.
Tarin Teo is a freelance writer.